GP is jailed for attacks

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The Independent Online
A POPULAR and hard-working GP, who won the trust of young women patients and then groped them while they lay on his surgery couch, was jailed for three-and-a-half years yesterday for attacks stretching back over 17 years.

Dr Gerald Walmsley, 50, of Langton Green, Kent, a former assistant to a consultant gynaecologist, was found guilty of 10 charges of indecent assault relating to eight women between 1980 and 1997. Each happened after the GP had gone out of his way to help and reassure the women and when they felt at ease with him.

He was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court and now faces being struck off by the General Medical Council as well as being sued by at least two of the women.

The jury returned unanimous verdicts on nine charges and a majority verdict on the tenth. Walmsley denied all the charges and was still legally practising at his surgery in Tunbridge Wells until the trial. Five of the victims were patients at that surgery. The others were patients at the Yeadon Health Centre, near Leeds, West Yorkshire, where he practised between 1976 to 1986.

Walmsley remained emotionless as the jury returned the verdicts. His wife, Yvonne, who worked as receptionist at the Kent surgery, and their two adopted daughters were in court.

The court heard earlier that one of the victims was a 19-year-old who had been "branded" on the thigh with a home-made tattoo by her boyfriend. Walmsley comforted her, removed the tattoo, then assaulted her.

Another victim was given "relaxation massage", whichgradually became more sexually explicit. Another complained to police over a smear test but was told it was "a medical matter".

Detectives believe there may be more victims who have not come forward.